Clover: Add tabs to Windows Explorer, Google Chrome style

Since these days we work with tabs so much, many users would highly appreciate a tabbed Windows Explorer. However, there is no default support for this feature within Windows, but it can be achieved with a simple, free application such as Clover.

This tiny utility revamps Windows Explorer adding tabs, bookmarks and other useful features commonly found in web browsers.

Installation & Requirements

The basic setup of Clover should pose no problems even to beginner users. As soon as the installation is complete the program goes into action. Any Explorer window you open from now on will have tab functionality plus the rest of features offered by Clover.

The program is free (donations are accepted though) and runs on all Windows versions starting with XP.

Interface

Clover doesn’t have an interface, it simply adds functionality to Windows Explorer and everything it offers you can find there. It’s hard not to notice the strong resemblance with Google Chrome received by a Clover-enhanced Explorer. The tabs have the same shape, there is the same “New tab” button and there’s even the old wrench icon Chrome used to have.
Opening a new tab can be done using the dedicated button present at the end of the last currently open tab, by opening a new instance of Explorer or by using the Windows + E shortcut. Clover also provides the very useful bookmark bar where you can add all your frequently accessed locations.

The tab context menu is also very similar to Chrome’s one. You can do all the regular actions such as opening a new tab, pin or duplicate the existing tab, close the current tab/other tabs/tabs to the right, reopen this tab, bookmark it or bookmark all tabs.

Copy/paste functionality is available using drag & drop between two open tabs, just like you would between different windows. Clover’s settings offer further customization of the program. For example you can, just like in a web browser, choose to remember open tabs and reopen them next time you fire up Windows Explorer. Other useful actions that can be enabled in the program’s settings include import/export bookmarks, double-click on a tab to close it, open a folder in a new tab via wheel-click and switch between tabs by mouse scroll in the tab strip.

Pros

– Speedy and simple setup.
– Tab functionality similar to the one of Google Chrome.
– Optional bookmarks bar (can be hidden from the Settings).
– Import/export bookmarks option.
– Keyboard shortcuts for tab actions (the same ones as in Chrome).
– Drag and drop is supported between tabs.

Cons

– None worth mentioning.

Conclusion

Clover adds basic tab capabilities to Windows Explorer without complicating things too much. The Chrome-inspired tab design and features will be much appreciated by those who already use Google Chrome and even for those who prefer another web browser.